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Why I think astrology is false

Discuss Divination, Fortune Telling - Astrology, Tarot, Runes, I Ching, Tea Leaves, etc. and Predictions.

Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby quantumparanormal » 23 Sep 2009, 04:26

Don wrote:Yes, you are, and perhaps you'd be able to think with logic and clarity rather than mere denunciation if you had a little sleep.

I hope people who have been reading these exchanges will realize what has been going on. KFS and ProfWag have a set of beliefs that set up their understanding of the universe. It's their paradigm. When people have paradigms based on belief rather than knowledge, it's important to defend their belief system and attempt to bully others into believing it so no one will threaten their belief system. Many Christian organizations have done this and still do this. It's what happens when people are insecure about their own beliefs.

Frankly, I don't care a fig if astrology is valid or not. What I DO care about is the advancement of humanity through scientific inquiry. Abandoning science in the defense of a belief system, while claiming to defend the scientific method they ignore, does more to harm the future of humanity then all the people reading their silly newspaper horoscopes combined.


Very well said, Don, and all of your statements are clearly logical. Kudos on a well-written post.

This debate seems to be based--in large part--on a difference in opinion as to whether or not astrology, much like psi, is deterministic or correlative/probabilistic. KFS seems to think the former has to be the case in order for us to lend astrology any credence, but that's a fallacy. Like psi, we cannot empirically ascertain with any great degree of certainty the causal relationships between what test subjects "do" and the phenomenological effects observed. What we see are correlations, not direct causes. For example, person A is given an electrical jolt in EM-shielded room A, then person B in EM-shielded room B registers a physiological response at or right before the same time. We do not see this "thing" that is causing person B to respond, but what we do see are correlations in the data: person B seems to register the stimuli of person A more often than what would be predicted by chance. However, it doesn't occur every single time. We are stuck with probabilities, not certainties.

KFS wrote:So for example, a doctor may well say, "You should stop smoking, for it increases the risk of a number of diseases, most notably brain cancer". You may well choose the path not to quit, but whether they listen or not, the statement will be true. If an astrologer gives me some advice/a statement, and I don't listen to it, and it's not in any way deterministic, it's obviously just rubbish.


That's weak inductive reasoning. There is a probability, not a certainty, that if one continues to smoke, one will probably get brain cancer. The smoking-to-brain-cancer link is also correlative and probabilistic, not deterministic or certain. We do not know for sure what causal factors are involved in the smoking-causes-brain-cancer link other than there is a chance that if you smoke you might get brain cancer, but the exact causal mechanism has not yet been discovered. Similarly, astrology is, too, probabilistic and correlative, not deterministic or certain. Can you determine whether or not you will get brain cancer if you smoke? Can you determine whether or not you will have a good day if a certain star aligns itself with a certain planet? No. We have a better chance, however, at being able to answer the former, as we have statistics to backup a probability based on real data. As for astrology, I'm not sure, but I'm going to guess we don't have enough statistics to ascertain with a 95% confidence level whether or not there's a positive correlation between a certain star being in a certain place at the same time a certain planet is in a certain place and how such an alignment correlates to human behavioral outcomes. However, my point is that both things (i.e., smoking-causes-brain-cancer & astrology) are probabilities, not certainties, and neither are deterministic.

I'm not into astrology, but one convincing study conducted that surely suggests at least some aspects of astrology might be "real" is that of psychologists Michel and Francoise Gauquelin, namely the 'Mars Effect'. They originally set out to debunk astrology but ended up gathering some convincing data in which "results showed that 22 percent of European sports champions were born with Mars rising or transiting. Since Gauquelin divided the sky into 12 sectors, according to pure chance the probability of Mars being in any two sectors at time of birth is 2/12 or 17 percent, well below the 22 percent reported. With a sample size of 2,088 sports champions, the odds are millions-to-one against these results occurring by chance." (Carter, 2007, p. 10) We do not know what exactly causes 22 percent of European sports champions to be born with Mars rising or transiting, but the correlation sometimes exist, more often than chance would predict. My point, again, is that such a phenomenon is not deterministic. In contrast, what are the odds of getting brain cancer in someone who smokes frequently?
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 24 Sep 2009, 22:45

Don wrote:
I hope people who have been reading these exchanges will realize what has been going on. KFS and ProfWag have a set of beliefs that set up their understanding of the universe. It's their paradigm. When people have paradigms based on belief rather than knowledge, it's important to defend their belief system and attempt to bully others into believing it so no one will threaten their belief system. Many Christian organizations have done this and still do this. It's what happens when people are insecure about their own beliefs.

Actually Don, I have provided two studies that included astrologers in the study and no, that study was not disproven, only criticized by an Astrologer who didn’t agree that his personal career choice wasn’t met with scientific validity. There were many more that did not include astrologers, but you would have cried “foul” if I used them so I chose not too, though I could probably find more that did utilize astrologers if requested. My hypothesis is that few astrologers want to have their “craft” scrutinized by academic evaluation as they would have little to gain but much to lose. I presented a challenge to you for presentation of scientific evidence. QP provided a nice one from Michel Gauguelin. As is usually the case with “paranormal” scientific studies however, there are those who refute the original study. Benski, Caudron, Galifret, et. al. in their study on the Mars Effect (which included Gauguelin’s approval of the protocol) and found no connection whatsoever to athletes and the position of planets. (Benski, C. et al. 1996. The "Mars Effect": A French Test of Over 1000 Sports Champions) So, who should one believe? My opinion is that people will base their personal belief on past experience.
Second, you continue to refer to twins and astrology. I present this study that sheds doubt on their connection: http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf
Next Don, Astrology is a belief rather than knowledge. You have it backwards. I am not an Astronomer so I am not an expert in planetary information, but there are those that are experts--just as there are those that have been certified in astrology. The theories of planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested, and verified. As for astrology, people who want to believe in something, will. Regardless of what science says about their belief. I believe the planets revolve around the sun because of gravity. I believe in the “Big Bang” theory and I believe in black holes. My beliefs are based on what I have learned in science books and classrooms. An Astrologers belief is based on, well, I’m not exactly sure. It appears it depends on what kind of astrology one subscribes too. One statement I have read from astrologers.com states that astrology is the “oldest science known to man.” Another statement claims that Jim Lewis developed the modern charts used by astrologers today by incorporating computerized technology in the latter part of the 20th Century. Does that mean the astrology before Jim was bunk?
Finally, if I am sick I seek the advice of a Doctor (second opinions depending on the severity of the diagnosis) and I seek the advice of a realtor when in the housing market (also second opinions and personal research). When and for what reasons do I need to consult an Astrologer?
In conclusion, I am not insecure in my own beliefs when it comes to Astrology. I would hope that your statement wasn't an attempt to put words in my mouth because if so, you are totally incorrect.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ciscop » 25 Sep 2009, 00:37

ProfWag wrote:
Don wrote:
I hope people who have been reading these exchanges will realize what has been going on. KFS and ProfWag have a set of beliefs that set up their understanding of the universe. It's their paradigm. When people have paradigms based on belief rather than knowledge, it's important to defend their belief system and attempt to bully others into believing it so no one will threaten their belief system. Many Christian organizations have done this and still do this. It's what happens when people are insecure about their own beliefs.

Actually Don, I have provided two studies that included astrologers in the study and no, that study was not disproven, only criticized by an Astrologer who didn’t agree that his personal career choice wasn’t met with scientific validity. There were many more that did not include astrologers, but you would have cried “foul” if I used them so I chose not too, though I could probably find more that did utilize astrologers if requested. My hypothesis is that few astrologers want to have their “craft” scrutinized by academic evaluation as they would have little to gain but much to lose. I presented a challenge to you for presentation of scientific evidence. QP provided a nice one from Michel Gauguelin. As is usually the case with “paranormal” scientific studies however, there are those who refute the original study. Benski, Caudron, Galifret, et. al. in their study on the Mars Effect (which included Gauguelin’s approval of the protocol) and found no connection whatsoever to athletes and the position of planets. (Benski, C. et al. 1996. The "Mars Effect": A French Test of Over 1000 Sports Champions) So, who should one believe? My opinion is that people will base their personal belief on past experience.
Second, you continue to refer to twins and astrology. I present this study that sheds doubt on their connection: http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf
Next Don, Astrology is a belief rather than knowledge. You have it backwards. I am not an Astronomer so I am not an expert in planetary information, but there are those that are experts--just as there are those that have been certified in astrology. The theories of planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested, and verified. As for astrology, people who want to believe in something, will. Regardless of what science says about their belief. I believe the planets revolve around the sun because of gravity. I believe in the “Big Bang” theory and I believe in black holes. My beliefs are based on what I have learned in science books and classrooms. An Astrologers belief is based on, well, I’m not exactly sure. It appears it depends on what kind of astrology one subscribes too. One statement I have read from astrologers.com states that astrology is the “oldest science known to man.” Another statement claims that Jim Lewis developed the modern charts used by astrologers today by incorporating computerized technology in the latter part of the 20th Century. Does that mean the astrology before Jim was bunk?
Finally, if I am sick I seek the advice of a Doctor (second opinions depending on the severity of the diagnosis) and I seek the advice of a realtor when in the housing market (also second opinions and personal research). When and for what reasons do I need to consult an Astrologer?
In conclusion, I am not insecure in my own beliefs when it comes to Astrology. I would hope that your statement wasn't an attempt to put words in my mouth because if so, you are totally incorrect.


nice to see you back profwag!
welcome!
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 25 Sep 2009, 00:42

ciscop wrote:nice to see you back profwag!
welcome!

Thank you! Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum, it beats hanging around a tombstone with a bunch of weaping relatives.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby quantumparanormal » 25 Sep 2009, 00:44

ProfWag wrote:Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum...


And yet you still do. Go figure.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 25 Sep 2009, 00:46

quantumparanormal wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum...


And yet you still do. Go figure.

2 + 2 = 4
4 x 4 = 16
32 - 1 = 31
Oh, was that not what you meant by "go figure?" ;-)
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ciscop » 25 Sep 2009, 00:48

ProfWag wrote:
ciscop wrote:nice to see you back profwag!
welcome!

Thank you! Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum, it beats hanging around a tombstone with a bunch of weaping relatives.


i know what you mean,
in your ausence he wrote me a 5 pages love letter, pointless to argue with him, you end up just repeating endless times.
¨The cog. dissonance is strong in that one¨
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 25 Sep 2009, 00:52

ciscop wrote:
ProfWag wrote:
ciscop wrote:nice to see you back profwag!
welcome!

Thank you! Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum, it beats hanging around a tombstone with a bunch of weaping relatives.


i know what you mean,
in your ausence he wrote me a 5 pages love letter, pointless to argue with him, you end up just repeating endless times.
¨The cog. dissonance is strong in that one¨

Yea, I saw some of that.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby quantumparanormal » 25 Sep 2009, 00:53

ProfWag wrote:
quantumparanormal wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Although I can think of many things I'd rather do than piddle over the English language with Quantum...


And yet you still do. Go figure.

2 + 2 = 4
4 x 4 = 16
32 - 1 = 31
Oh, was that not what you meant by "go figure?" ;-)


:lol: Good one!
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Don » 08 Oct 2009, 04:18

ProfWag wrote:
Don wrote:
I hope people who have been reading these exchanges will realize what has been going on. KFS and ProfWag have a set of beliefs that set up their understanding of the universe. It's their paradigm. When people have paradigms based on belief rather than knowledge, it's important to defend their belief system and attempt to bully others into believing it so no one will threaten their belief system. Many Christian organizations have done this and still do this. It's what happens when people are insecure about their own beliefs.


Actually Don, I have provided two studies that included astrologers in the study and no, that study was not disproven, only criticized by an Astrologer who didn’t agree that his personal career choice wasn’t met with scientific validity. There were many more that did not include astrologers, but you would have cried “foul” if I used them so I chose not too, though I could probably find more that did utilize astrologers if requested.


No, prof, you still don't get it. You seem to assume that because someone says they're an astrologer or someone has a Ph.D. in their name they will, of necessity, be experts in other areas of science. It's just not so. The validity of the test you mentioned is obviously questionable to someone who is an expert in statistics (as was pointed out in the debunking criticism you seem incapable of accepting).

When I went to UCLA, my astronomy professor was a Dr. Abell. Dr. Abell was one of the scientists with a predetermined belief system. It was so strong that when he was asked by CSICOP to refute Gauquelin's research, he cheated. It's my opinion that when his faking of the data interpretation was revealed it destroyed him, leading to the heart attack that eventually killed him. The cheating that was done changed CSICOP forever (they no longer will fund any actually debunking themselves) and resulted in many of their members leaving. I'm inclined to think that many people were originally attracted to CSICOP because of their claim of actually investigating the paranormal. When it was revealed that the leaders were (and remain) nothing but believers in a different paradigm, and would do anything to defend their paradigm (including intimidation, faking research, etc.), they left.

My hypothesis is that few astrologers want to have their “craft” scrutinized by academic evaluation as they would have little to gain but much to lose.


That's like saying many plumbers don't want their craft scrutinized by academic evaluation because they would have little to gain but much to lose. LOL!

In fact, I've personally met hundreds of astrologers who would love to have their science scrutinized by academic evaluation. How many have you actually met in order to make your claim, or is that just your fantasy? The problem is that there is NO reason for academics to evaluate astrology. What purpose is there in it? So who ends up doing it? People who have an agenda, and more times than not, the agenda is debunking.

I presented a challenge to you for presentation of scientific evidence. QP provided a nice one from Michel Gauguelin. As is usually the case with “paranormal” scientific studies however, there are those who refute the original study. Benski, Caudron, Galifret, et. al. in their study on the Mars Effect (which included Gauguelin’s approval of the protocol) and found no connection whatsoever to athletes and the position of planets. (Benski, C. et al. 1996. The "Mars Effect": A French Test of Over 1000 Sports Champions) So, who should one believe? My opinion is that people will base their personal belief on past experience.


I agree! And that's what debunkers do. By the way, why is it that you didn't present Gauquelin's response to their criticism? Hmm?? That's right, you don't want to see anything that challenges your belief system.

Second, you continue to refer to twins and astrology. I present this study that sheds doubt on their connection: http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf


Actually, I was challenged about twins and responded to it. For every study you present, I can present one, also. For critiques of this study, see:
http://www.astrologer.com/aanet/news/de ... egraph.htm

What you're failing to understand is that you have a belief system that doesn't allow for astrology. That's fine. That's you're belief. Cool. That doesn't mean astrology isn't valid. It just means you don't believe it.

Next Don, Astrology is a belief rather than knowledge. You have it backwards. I am not an Astronomer so I am not an expert in planetary information, but there are those that are experts--just as there are those that have been certified in astrology. The theories of planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested, and verified.


Yep. In fact, most of that work was originally done by astrologers such as http://www.astrologer.com/aanet/news/de ... egraph.htm. For thousands of years the planetary movements have been studied, chronicled, tested and verified. And so have the methods of astrology.

As for astrology, people who want to believe in something, will.

Absolutely! Just as people who don't want to believe in astrology won't, no matter how much documentation and evidence is presented to support it.

Regardless of what science says about their belief.

In 10,000 years of written language, "science" has never said anything about astrology. Nor has "science" said anything about medicine or plumbing. That's because "science" says nothing. "Science" is simply a discipline. It says nothing. On the other hand, scientists say all sorts of things. That's because they have their own sets of beliefs and preconceptions.

I believe the planets revolve around the sun because of gravity. I believe in the “Big Bang” theory and I believe in black holes. My beliefs are based on what I have learned in science books and classrooms.


But now, some scientists are saying that there was no Big Bang. Oops! There goes your dogma! Up in smoke. :)

An Astrologers belief is based on, well, I’m not exactly sure.

Of course not. You're afraid to study it because it might interfere with your present belief system. However, FYI, it's based on such things as empirical observation, mathematics, etc. You know....that science stuff.

It appears it depends on what kind of astrology one subscribes too. One statement I have read from astrologers.com states that astrology is the “oldest science known to man.” Another statement claims that Jim Lewis developed the modern charts used by astrologers today by incorporating computerized technology in the latter part of the 20th Century. Does that mean the astrology before Jim was bunk?


No, it means that as with any science, it evolves over time. Will you acknowledge that chemistry is a science? Do you think that the methods and discoveries of chemistry are the same today as they were 1,000 years ago? How about 500 years ago? How about 50 years ago. Real sciences evolve over time. Belief systems are static and unchanging. When they do change they become new belief systems. Thus, Protestantism is a new belief system when compared to Catholicism, although they have some beliefs that are the same.

Finally, if I am sick I seek the advice of a Doctor (second opinions depending on the severity of the diagnosis) and I seek the advice of a realtor when in the housing market (also second opinions and personal research). When and for what reasons do I need to consult an Astrologer?

You obviously don't have a reason to consult an astrology. So don't. What's the problem? If you're not sick, you're not going to seek the advice of a doctor. So don't.

In conclusion, I am not insecure in my own beliefs when it comes to Astrology. I would hope that your statement wasn't an attempt to put words in my mouth because if so, you are totally incorrect.


Yeah, I know you'd like to believe that. I'm sure you'd like to stomp your feet and say, "I do! I do! I do! know what I believe." But you believe that planets work a certain way and medicine works a certain way and the universe works a certain way. Each of us does. The question is not whether you're insecure about your beliefs over astrology. The point I was making is that you're insecure about ALL of your beliefs. Astrology doesn't fit into your belief system, and you're terrified that if astrology is valid, you'll have to re-examine all of your beliefs. So you have to attack what you don't believe in. You, and others, demand that people believe as you do so you'll never have to examine your own beliefs. After all, if astrology is valid maybe your intertwining beliefs about the universe might be false. Better to kill the messenger with false data than to accept the possibility that the universe is not only more than you imagine, but it's more than you can imagine.

And the amazing thing is that the immensity of the universe and it's infinite potentials is the most astoundingly wonderful thing of all! It's a shame, IMO, when any person simply denies anything they don't believe because it shows not just the limits of their imagination, but also places limits on the potential of our amazing universe.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby brett » 08 Oct 2009, 04:50

well i read my stars in the paper every day , and every day they say life is going to get better etc etc etc - it never does :roll:

- now there may well be something to astrology BUT as usual ,it has been corrupted and utilized by man for their own greedy and motive driven ends ( vis conning the gullible out of their money ) - same as a lot of "psychics " - religious types - scientologist types ya de ya de ya de - it all about money folks - plain and simple :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 08 Oct 2009, 08:21

Do you make a living off of astrology Don?
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ciscop » 08 Oct 2009, 10:48

don i would really appretiate if you can share some of your research that led you to believe astrology is real.

ooh... and by the way
i also found it amusing that in your opinion, your astronomy professor might had a heart attack because he cheated in gauquelin's mars effect investigation.. but you FORGOT that actually GAUQUELIN KILLED HIMSELF after he was debunked by the protocol he accepted.


oh by the way
i love astrology, is the best way to learn how to read people, tell them a lot about themselves without even saying anything meanigful or personal at all.
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby ProfWag » 08 Oct 2009, 18:42

Don wrote:
That's like saying many plumbers don't want their craft scrutinized by academic evaluation because they would have little to gain but much to lose. LOL!

In fact, I've personally met hundreds of astrologers who would love to have their science scrutinized by academic evaluation. How many have you actually met in order to make your claim, or is that just your fantasy? The problem is that there is NO reason for academics to evaluate astrology. What purpose is there in it? So who ends up doing it? People who have an agenda, and more times than not, the agenda is debunking.What you're failing to understand is that you have a belief system that doesn't allow for astrology. That's fine. That's you're belief. Cool. That doesn't mean astrology isn't valid. It just means you don't believe it.


No, that's like saying many plumbers want to be members of the better business bureau so their work is recognized as being respectable.

So, you have "personally met hundreds of astrologers who would love to have their science scrutinezed by academic evaluation." Perhaps that is what they tell you (interesting that comes up in so many of your conversations), but if they are so interested, then why are there no academic journal articles with this scientific evaluation? I've looked through my journal access of ProQuest and Lexus Nexus with no results. Surely at least ONE of these astrologers, if they are so interested, lives close enough to a communicty college that would be willing to evaluate this astrologer. The rest of your paragraph is simply an excuse. You say there "is NO reason for academics to evaluate astrology." Whaaaaa? You astrologers are the FIRST people to want to be considered as a science, yet you say there is NO reason to evaluate it? Sorry Don, but the only reason there is no reason to evaluate it is because it is a science that has little or no merit. Scientific studies that would show that astrology has no merit would mean fewer people would be willing to fork out money to astrologers. It would hurt their pocketbook and THAT's the only reason astrologers won't get themselves tested.
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Re: Why I think astrology is false

Postby Don » 11 Oct 2009, 02:03

ProfWag wrote:Do you make a living off of astrology Don?


No. I only claim to have studied a tiny bit of astrology. I am not an expert in astrology, a student in astrology, or training to be an astrologer.

I don't know if astrology is valid.

But I did get my degree in philosophy with a specialization in formal logic and can easily recognize and illogical, bad argument when I read one.
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